In very summery weather I arrived at Newton to collect Yvonne, Mark and Marie. Sunglasses and sun cream were the order of the day and we headed down to Druridge Bay and southeast Northumberland. Family trips are always a bit of an unknown, but having a sharp-eyed 10 year old on her first visit to Northumberland really helped
I’ve pondered a great deal over the last few years on what it is about wildlife that can really grip the imagination and attention of the younger generations and I’m still not certain that I really have the answer. In fact, there probably isn’t one simple answer. I’ve been involved with mini-beasting sessions with our local First School and seen children get really enthused about slugs (not my own personal favourite…), I’ve seen teenagers get excited about bats, owls, Otters and beetles but, one thing is almost always true…and that’s that ‘cute’ is good I’m in my mid-40s, I could be cynical and jaded, but ‘cute’ still works for me too. And cute was 3 Avocet chicks, paddling in shallow water and swinging their heads from side-to-side in the way that their parents do when feeding. A Barn Owl gave repeated fly-bys in the sublime evening light, flushing 27 Common Snipe at one point, and we headed back to Newton, where the Stilt Sandpiper (the rarest bird we’ve seen with clients) was still present, and wading between Black-headed Gulls. In the twilight, bats passed low over our heads and a froglet hopped across the path in front of us. Even the sometimes apparently ‘wildlife-poor’ days of the summer can produce incredible experiences, and the contribution our clients make to that experience is vital.